International Ice Hockey Federation

Fantastic Finns win, 5-1

Fantastic Finns win, 5-1

Swiss no match for puck control of Suomi

Published 15.04.2017 18:08 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Fantastic Finns win, 5-1
POPRAD, SLOVAKIA - APRIL 15: Switzerland's Gianluca Zaetta #1 lays on the ice while his teammate Tobias Geisser #24 looks on after being scored on by Finland's Joni Ikonen #13 (not shown) during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Finland moved to the top of Group A by beating the Swiss (1-1). Linus Nyman got off a plane and had two goals and assist for the winners.

Linus Nyman pretty much came from the airport after an overnight flight from Canada to score the first two goals of the game and assist on another to lead Finland to a convincing win over Switzerland this afternoon in Poprad.

Nyman's Kingston Frontenacs were swept by the Peterborough Petes in OHL playoff action on Thursday night, and Nyman was on a plane the next day to Slovakia. So was teammate Eemeli Rasanen, a defenceman.

The rest of the team was also sensational today in defeating the Swiss soundly.

"The first few minutes were tough, but then I got going," Nyman said. 

"It was tough going to the bigger ice," Rasanen admitted. "It's harder to close the gap and you have so much more time."

Nyman opened the scoring at 7:28 on a power play when he was the third man in a nice tic-tac-toe passing play. Goalie Gianluca Zaetta tired to intercept Aarne Talvitie's pass to Nyman, but the Finn knocked in the puck from the top of the crease anyway.

"I just went to the net as we were controlling the play, and I scored on the rebound," Nyman said. "It was a good feeling for me and big goal for the team."

The Finns made it 2-0 late in the period thanks to some nice patience by Nyman. Carrying the puck and looking for a play, he drifted through the high slot, waited for a screen, and then fired a shot past Zaetta at 16:14.

Suomi doubled its lead with two quick goals midway through the second period. On the first, it was sensational forechecking from Rasmus Kupari that created the chance. He hounded Nico Gross for several seconds before forcing a turnover, then made a nice pass to Jesperi Kotkaniemi in front. Kotkaniemi made no mistake with the point-blank shot.

The nicest goal of the tournament so far came off the rush after an ill-adivsed Swiss pinch at the Finland blue line. Vesalainen brought the puck up ice, dished to Nyman inside the Swiss end, and Nyman made a crisp pass to Joni Ikonen, who redirected the puck quickly into the open side at 13:19, just 65 seconds after Kotkaniemi's goal.

Nicolas Muller got the Swiss on the board at 7:40 of the third. After some nice puck movement by the Swiss, he banged in a rebound with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen down and out.

Any hopes of a comeback, however, were dashed just 13 seconds later when Otto Latvala counted another one for the Finns.

Finland next plays Latvia tomorrow while the Swiss have a day off before facing Canada on Monday night.


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